Targeted single-cell genomics reveals novel host adaptation strategies of the symbiotic bacteria Endozoicomonas in Acropora tenuis coral

Keigo Ide, Yohei Nishikawa, Toru Maruyama, Yuko Tsukada, Masato Kogawa, Hiroki Takeda, Haruka Ito, Ryota Wagatsuma, Rimi Miyaoka, Yoshikatsu Nakano, Koji Kinjo, Michihiro Ito, Masahito Hosokawa, Kei Yura, Shoichiro Suda, Haruko Takeyama*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Endozoicomonas bacteria symbiosis with various marine organisms is hypothesized as a potential indicator of health in corals. Although many amplicon analyses using 16S rRNA gene have suggested the diversity of Endozoicomonas species, genome analysis has been limited due to contamination of host-derived sequences and difficulties in culture and metagenomic analysis. Therefore, the evolutionary and functional potential of individual Endozoicomonas species symbiotic with the same coral species remains unresolved. Results: In this study, we applied a novel single-cell genomics technique using droplet microfluidics to obtain single-cell amplified genomes (SAGs) for uncultured coral-associated Endozoicomonas spp. We obtained seven novel Endozoicomonas genomes and quantitative bacterial composition from Acropora tenuis corals at four sites in Japan. Our quantitative 16S rRNA gene and comparative genomic analysis revealed that these Endozoicomonas spp. belong to different lineages (Clade A and Clade B), with widely varying abundance among individual corals. Furthermore, each Endozoicomonas species possessed various eukaryotic-like genes in clade-specific genes. It was suggested that these eukaryotic-like genes might have a potential ability of different functions in each clade, such as infection of the host coral or suppression of host immune pathways. These Endozoicomonas species may have adopted different host adaptation strategies despite living symbiotically on the same coral. Conclusions: This study suggests that coral-associated Endozoicomonas spp. on the same species of coral have different evolutional strategies and functional potentials in each species and emphasizes the need to analyze the genome of each uncultured strain in future coral-Endozoicomonas relationships studies. [MediaObject not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number220
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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